Recipe of the Week: Goat Cheese Stuffed Poblano Chiles

New Southwest CookbookThis delicious vegetarian main dish from Hilton of Santa Fe in Santa Fe, New Mexico, was selected by Carolyn Niethammer for The New Southwest Cookbook. Mild and flavorful poblano chiles are stuffed with a cheese filling made even richer with piñon nuts and dried cranberries. Serve with black beans and sautéed vegetables.

Goat Cheese–Stuffed Poblano Chiles with Tomato–Chipotle Sauce

Makes 6 servings

Relleno Filling
1/2 pound goat cheese
1/2 pound cream cheese
1–2 teaspoons ground chipotle powder
1/4 cup dried cranberries
2 teaspoons chopped fresh mint
2 teaspoons chopped fresh basil
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 teaspoon lime zest
1/4 cup corn kernels (fresh or frozen and thawed)
1/4 cup toasted piñon nuts

6 poblano chiles, roasted and peeled*

1 teaspoon oil
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 can (14 ounces) diced tomatoes, with juices
2 teaspoons chopped fresh basil
2 teaspoons chopped fresh mint
2 tablespoons ground chipotle powder
1 teaspoon sherry or vinegar
Salt to taste
3 eggs, separated
1/2 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground New Mexico red chile
2–4 tablespoons dark beer (such as Guinness)

For the rellenos, mix all the filling ingredients in a medium bowl. Cover and refrigerate to firm up while you prepare chiles.

Make a small incision in each chile and open. Carefully remove as many seeds as possible. Divide the chilled cheese mixture into 6 portions and form each portion into 3 balls. Put 3 cheese balls into each chile cavity. Press gently to close. Refrigerate stuffed chiles at least 2 hours.

For the sauce, heat oil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and lightly sauté for 1 minute. Add tomatoes, basil, mint, chipotle powder, and sherry. Simmer for 5 minutes, season to taste with salt, then transfer to a blender and puree. Keep warm in a non-reactive container.

In a large bowl, mix the egg yolks, flour, salt, and ground red chile. Whisk in the beer slowly, since you may need more or less depending on the humidity. You want just enough beer to make a sauce as thick as pancake batter. Beat the egg whites until stiff and fold them into the batter. The batter will hold for several hours if covered and refrigerated.

When ready to cook, heat the oil in a deep pan to 375 degrees F. Submerge the stuffed chiles in the batter, then transfer them to the oil with a slotted spoon and fry until golden brown. Remove and drain on paper towels.

Serve with about 1/4 cup of sauce per serving on the side.

*To roast chiles, follow one of the methods below. Once the chiles are blackened, transfer to a paper or plastic bag to steam for a few minutes. When cool enough to handle, the skins should easily peel off.

In the oven: Arrange whole chiles on a baking sheet (cut side down) and bake at 400 degrees F until they blister and the skins darken.

On the grill or gas burner: Put whole chiles over a grill set to medium-high heat. Use tongs to turn until all sides are blackened. You can also spear chiles or hold with tongs, directly above the flames of your gas stovetop, roasting until charred on all sides.


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